How to use health data to help fight health disparities
- by admin
As Texas faces a wave of coronavirus cases, the state’s health department is launching a new initiative that would help combat health disparities in the state.
The initiative, called Horizon New Jersey, is an effort to make health information accessible to underserved communities, the AP reports.
The goal is to create a network of health care providers in underserved areas to better serve them and to reduce disparities in access to health care, according to the AP.
“It’s about the people who live in these communities, not just the doctors, nurses, or anyone else who is doing this work,” said Dr. David Breslow, who leads the department’s Health Equity and Access Office.
Breslow and the other leaders behind Horizon New York, a partnership of five hospitals and health clinics, said they were inspired to tackle the issue by the data collected on the disease, which has seen the highest rate of deaths in the US in more than a decade.
“I think people are tired of the same old stories about how health care is free and that it’s good for everyone,” Bresold said.
“We’re trying to get to a place where you can actually take care of the people that need it the most, and to make it accessible to the people most in need.”
Bresold told the AP that the state is looking for health care professionals who have been practicing for 10 years or more.
He said the state wants to make the data available online and through the state Health Equity Center, which he described as an umbrella group for the state health departments, counties, health departments and other health-care providers.
“We want to make sure we’re getting the right information to the right people,” he said.
The goal is not to eliminate the need for doctors to visit residents, but to make them more accessible and more likely to refer patients to their practices, Bresdale said.
The system would also target underserved populations in ways that are not based on race, religion, or gender.
“The idea is to make our health care systems accessible to all people,” Breold said, adding that he and his colleagues at Horizon New Jersy plan to launch a pilot project with the New Jersey Health Department that would see patients receive their first visit at a clinic and a prescription filled at a community clinic.
Breold told The Associated Press that he was pleased to see health disparities are at an all-time low in Texas, noting that the number of people with COVID-19 deaths has dropped from 6,726 in March to just 2,000 in October.
However, the department plans to make a similar commitment to the rest of the country as the pandemic continues to hit the US, he said, noting a study released last week found that Texas was among the states with the lowest health-service use rates among the 50 states and Washington, DC, among the nation’s capitals.
The plan will be rolled out to about 30,000 patients across the state over the next several months, Brefield said.
Horizon New Brunswick will begin enrolling its first patients this week.
As Texas faces a wave of coronavirus cases, the state’s health department is launching a new initiative that would help…